CNN to invest $10mn in news gathering operation

CNN to invest $10mn in news gathering operation

New York: The Cable News Network (CNN) has announced a major reorganization and expansion of its international news gathering operation with an investment of $10 million, creating 16 new reporting posts in India and other countries in a drive to drastically reduce its dependence on news agencies.

The global television network owned by the largest media company Time Warner Inc said it will end its 27-year-old relationship with Reuters and invest the money saved into expanding and streamlining its own international operations.

The company will reduce its workforce by just under 10%, or approximately 400 members of the News Group staff, over the coming weeks.

Approximately one-third of these positions are current CNN Interactive staff, with another third from Programming and the remainder from different areas across the company.

Though it was not immediately clear how much CNN would save by discontinuing Reuters service as both were not giving the figure, some media reports put the figure at about $3.5 million.

CNN said it would stop using Reuters text, photography and television material from as early as Friday. But it will continue to use the news provided by Associated Press and Associated Press Television.

Announcing the broad series of measures to “improve" its news gathering operations, streamline its global television and Web services in an effort to strengthen its position in the US and around the world, CNN said the changes have been introduced by a new senior management team put in place four months ago.

The new plan aims at integrating the wide-ranging journalistic resources needed to support 34 television, radio and interactive network in a rapidly converging global market place.

The changes will include a totally integrated worldwide Newsgathering division in which journalists provide comprehensive reporting for all CNN television, Web sites and ancillary services, such as wireless devices and private networks.

New positions would be created in countries including India, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Vietnam, while around 35 other jobs would be created at CNN’s in-house wire service and among production and back-end crews.

Additional correspondents would also be posted in Beijing, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Pakistan, the network said, while staffing would be increased at CNN’s Asia-Pacific reporting hub in Hong Kong.

CNN said it would integrate television channels and their respective websites under a single management structure.

This involve online editorial content, including video provided by CNN Newsgathering division in 40 CNN bureaus worldwide. The announcement comes ahead of CNN plans to telecast news in high definition, a technology which some of the networks in the United States are already using.

To further expand its worldwide news presence, CNN will staff two new international bureaus that will be announced shortly.

After the personnel and operational changes, CNN will remain among the world’s largest news organizations with approximately 3,900 employees, 1,000 of whom are devoted to newsgathering.